MLK 2016

“The parties hereto, for themselves, their successors, heirs, representatives and assigns, agree … that no property within the above description shall be sold, leased, assigned or transferred …to any person or persons other than those belonging to the Caucasian Race” 

                                -Mortgage on my house from 1945


“That’s just the way it is.  Some things will never change.

That’s just the way it is.  But don’t you believe it.” 

                    -Bruce Hornsby and the Range


“Red and yellow, black and white.  They are precious in his sight.

Jesus loves the little children of the world.”

                    -C. Herbert Woolston


It is Martin Luther King, Jr day.  A day to remember a very important voice in the history of America’s journey on race.  Some of you right now are ready to dismiss all that comes next.  For there are two simplistic and wrongheaded opinions I see in middle America.  

Wrong Idea #1:  There is no racism in America.  We have a black president.  So let’s stop talking about this.  

Wrong Idea #2.  Everything is a matter of race.  Every arrest, bad grade, or prison sentence is a part of a system designed by the man to keep minorities low.  

These are two ideas I hear espoused often.  And I sympathize with where they come from.  But there is too much darkness and too much light to believe either of these positions.  Racism does exist in this land.  We are a tribal people.  We fall very easily into an us-and-them mentality. 

And it is into this I wish to speak.  I live in a city that has a sad racial history.  And it is still being expressed in our churches.  There are white churches and black churches.  Sunday in Flint is a day of segregation.  But I have a dream.  I have a dream of a church that looks like heaven.  I have a dream of a room filled with people of different races and heritages.  I have a dream to see a crayola box of color doing life together.  I have never seen a church like the one I dream of.  But I am asking God to let us be people who pave the way.